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Like many, the Fertilizer Institute, a trade group, has extended its condolences to the people of West, Texas, where a blast at a fertilizer plant Wednesday evening killed at least a dozen and injured about 200. The Washington-based institute, however, has lobbied against legislation that would require high-risk chemical facilities – including some of its members – to consider using safer substances and processes to lower the risk of catastrophic accidents and make such facilities less inviting to terrorists. Read more»

In addition to treating diseases and infections in food-producing animals, antibiotics such as cephalosporins also are used to prevent illnesses. The use of antibiotics for the disease-fighting technique is a controversial issue.

A study of chicken byproducts co-authored by an Arizona State University researcher found trace amounts of antibiotics banned from poultry production in 2005. Read more»

The namesake rock of Petrified Forest National Park.

The head of the Petrified Forest National Parks is quick to explain that the vistas stretching toward the Painted Desert hold hundreds of million years of history, from fossils of dinosaur ancestors to ancient dwellings. These days, however, his focus is increasingly on what’s beneath the wind-swept terrain. Read more»